WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 21, 2011, 06:48 PM

Ottertail man grows a massive pumpkin

Ottertail, MN (WDAY TV) -- A new attraction in the center of town has drivers stopping to take a peak.

Ottertail, MN (WDAY TV) -- A new attraction in the center of town has drivers stopping to take a peak.

What started as something fun to do for Dave Hawes just two years ago, has now turned into a full fledged love for pumpkin growing.

He has grown giant pumpkins in the past, but nothing beats the one he grew this year.

Dave says, “the neighbors would stop over and check every once in a while, had to go out to the patch and see how it was doing, so id uncover it.”

The pumpkin that is his pride and joy this year weighs in at 798 pounds. But Hawes seems pretty modest about that number.

He says, “And this is just a like I said a baby of a pumpkin compared to that world record at 1810 pounds.”

Hawes says the secret to growing giant pumpkins starts with the type of seeds that you use. The seed that started this one came from a pumpkin weighing nearly 1700 pounds.

Hawes says, “You can’t grow a big pumpkin they tell me out of poor seeds, you have to have good seeds.”

Hawes says he planted the special seeds to grow this enormous pumpkin in April. He says it grew at an average of 30 pounds a day.

Hawes says, “You kind of get to know them I guess, and it just kept going and going, and I thought it was going to you know stop when it got a little cooler.”

The pumpkin now sits front and center at Betty's Pantry for everyone to enjoy.

Vanessa, manager of Betty’s Pantry, says, “It's been a lot of fun, people really enjoy it, they want to know where it came from, the big question is how much does it weigh, and I always make everyone guess. Most people guess 300 pounds, and I said no, it's a lot more than that.”

As for next year, Hawes says plans are already in the works to grow a bigger and better pumpkin.

Hawes says, “But wait until next year.”

Hawes plans to cut the pumpkin up at the end of October to let the deer eat it.